A day after losing second baseman Rougned Odor to the disabled list with a hamstring injury, the Texas Rangers lost the second half of their middle infield duo on Wednesday. Shortstop Elvis Andrus took a pitch off his right elbow and tests revealed he suffered a fracture, which will keep him out indefinitely.
Andrus started the season off scorching hot at the plate, which only makes this worse for Texas. In 14 games, Andrus posted a .327/.426/.500 slash line, .412 wOBA, 163 wRC+ and a .173 isolated power. Even as some of the Rangers top bats around him struggled and with the lineup already missing Delino DeShields Jr., Andrus did everything within his power to keep this offense afloat.
Now with Andrus, Odor and DeShields sidelined, Texas' lineup could crater even further into the depths of the team leaderboards in a majority of categories. After Wednesday, Texas ranked 22nd in runs scored (44), 21st in wRC+ (83) and wOBA (.297) and 23rd in slugging percentage (.348). Even with Jurickson Profar, Adrian Beltre, Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo, this team is stuck in a prolonged slump that now seems to be spinning even further down due to multiple injuries.
From a DFS perspective, the Rangers' lineup now becomes one we will routinely target pitchers facing them on many slates. With an upcoming series against the Houston Astros, who boast the best rotation in baseball, followed by a set against the Tampa Bay Rays young arms. There will be plenty of occurrences in the near future where we'll be starting a pitcher against this depleted lineup.
From a season-long fantasy perspective, this move is a massive blow for fantasy players with Andrus. He performed at a high level over the past calendar year and what we saw to start the 2018 season made him an even greater fantasy play going forward. Now, at a position without great depth in reliable production outside the top core options, fantasy owners will struggle to find a replacement in their lineup at shortstop.
A trade could be an option for some fantasy owners. Corey Seager, Addison Russell, Tim Beckham, Francisco Lindor and Marwin Gonzalez are stuck in awful slumps to start the season. All offer plenty of upside and in the case of Seager and Lindor, could return you back to a feeling of happiness with their elite production at the shortstop position. If those two aren't an option, Russell, Beckham and Jean Segura could be other targets to pursue on the trade market.
We still don't have an exact timetable for how long Andrus will be out but expect it to be a substantial amount of time.